Local doctor cautious about study citing rise in prostate cancer - FOX Carolina 21

Local doctor cautious about study citing rise in prostate cancer

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James Ramsay, right, walks with his wife at Bon Secours St. Francis' Millenium Campus (FOX Carolina) James Ramsay, right, walks with his wife at Bon Secours St. Francis' Millenium Campus (FOX Carolina)
Dr. Stephen Dyar treats the worst cases of prostate cancer at Bon Secours St. Francis (FOX Carolina) Dr. Stephen Dyar treats the worst cases of prostate cancer at Bon Secours St. Francis (FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A recent study by Northwestern University claims aggressive types of prostate cancer have skyrocketed by 72 percent between 2004 to 2013. 

This following a 2012 recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that no longer encouraged prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for men, deeming it unnecessary. The Northwestern study raised the question as to whether that recommendation caused a spike in prostate cancer cases. 

"I personally don't think the new screening guidelines have had an impact ... primarily because it's just too soon," said Dr. Stephen Dyar, medical oncologist for Bon Secours St. Francis. Dyar said such a conclusion would be unlikely since the timeline of the study ends just one year after USPSTF made that recommendation. 

"What everyone is trying to figure out is - is that a result of a change in the screening guidelines, or is that a result of the actual nature of prostate cancer?," said Dyar. 

One of Dyar's patients, James Ramsay, said he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer two years ago. Ramsay, now 76, said it started with pain in his joints. After several screenings, doctors located the cancer, which had spread to his bones. 

"I had the most aggressive kind," said Ramsay. 

He and his wife, who live in Central, frequently travel to Bon Secours St. Francis for treatment. Ramsay is currently undergoing liquid radiation to try and reverse the effects of cancer in his bones. He has to take hormone treatments for the rest of his life. 

"God is faithful. I'm not worried...life itself has been good to me...and God has been better," said Ramsay, who for decades served religious missions with his wife around the world. It wasn't until he returned to the states in the early 2000s that he started thinking about the possibility of prostate cancer. 

Dr. Dyar said despite USPSTF's 2012 recommendation, all men should at some point be screened for prostate cancer. 

"It's the most effective way to survive a cancer scare," he said. Doctors recommend some men to be screened as early as age 40, depending on family history and risk factors. 

Still, Dyar and other doctors maintain the apparent rise in prostate cancer cases could just be due to an increase in an aging population. 

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